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September 2011 Cookbook of the Month Voting

After much discussion, we have narrowed it down in our nomination thread to the books listed below. These are all books that got at least 3 votes. Now is the time to decide which book will be chosen for September (the 5 year anniversary of Cookbook of the Month!). Please remember to VOTE IN ALL CAPS. Voting will close at 6 pm eastern time on Thursday, August 18.

THE FOOD OF SPAIN, by Claudia Roden

FRIED CHICKEN AND CHAMPAGNE, by Lisa Dupar

TENDER AND/OR KITCHEN DIARIES, by Nigel Slater (we could do a Slater combination or just one)

ONE BIG TABLE, by Molly O’Neil

Here is a link to the nomination thread if you’d like to read more about the books: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800883

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    1. Oh gosh, I would be delighted to cook from any of these books, and I own three out of five. I'm going to have to think on this one a bit. Thank you, LulusMom! If either or both Slater wins and there's some interest, I'd be happy to put up a Slater adjunct thread for those who wish to cook from various and sundry other Slater titles.

      ~TDQ

        1. re: bayoucook

          I was intrigued when this title came up on the nominating thread, and I went to Amazon to see what the book was about. What seemed to me was that the positive reviews were by people who had gone to this restaurant and/or knew the author. One reviewer, who clearly had not ever gone, was pretty disparaging about the book. I don't remember if in the nominating thread there was a COTMer who has the book and loves it.

          1. re: roxlet

            I think bayoucook has the book and loves it. :). In the noms thread she mentioned maybe half a dozen to a dozen recipes she's tried and liked. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8008...

            ~TDQ

            1. re: roxlet

              I think the reviews are rather sparse because she self-published the book. She doesn't have the big PR engine that comes with a publishing house. I lot of people probably haven't even heard of the book unless they have been to the restaurant.
              She did win the Julia Child award for a first book in the IACP 2011 awards. So the book will probably get picked up by a publisher.

              1. re: L.Nightshade

                Oh, that's very interesting about the self-publishing aspect. I wonder why she did that. Wanted to retain creative control? Was in a hurry? Nevertheless, it seems pretty amazing (to me) that she won the IACP award as a self-published author. I don't really know how these things work, but it just seems it you've got a published house behind you to get your name up for these awards or just have a lot of buzz in general, you'd have more of a shot of getting your hat thrown into the ring. This is pretty amazing to me. Must be quite a book.

                ~TDQ

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  When Champagne was mentioned during the nomination thread I went online to gather info. I read a lot of reviews of the cookbook on various blogs and everyone I read convinced me I had to have this book, NOW. Here is the google search I used to get you started:

                  http://www.google.com/search?client=s...

                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    I agree, it sounds pretty impressive. The photos and format are supposed to be great too, haven't actually seen it yet. I'm ready for another book with photos after World Veg. I get so inspired by the visuals.
                    I haven't voted yet, however, I'm about equally torn between three of the four choices!

                2. re: roxlet

                  I just read those. The worse one really aggravates me because the recipes are NOT another shrimp and grits or another leftover turkey soup, or gazpacho or tomato soup. Whoever did that review did not really read the recipes or has little experience of nuances. Shrimp and grits, where I live, is a no-recipe needed staple. Dupar treats it entirely different. She uses shrimp shells for a stock and riches the dish up with a shrimp butter. Ever made sage-ricotta dumplings for your leftover turkey soup? The gazpacho has Dungeness crab in it. I made her Havana Citrus Marinated Pork Roast for Cuban sandwiches yesterday and I don't know when I've ever tasted better pulled pork. As for the reviewers who had visited her restaurant, they were thrilled that she had published the true recipes used in the restaurant. It did win the 2011 Julia Child award out of a very tough field. I don't care whether it wins this month or not, I will continue to cook from it by myself or start an adjunct thread. I wish you had the book in hand to see what I'm talking about. Remember: anyone can review anything. Grain of salt needed.

                  1. re: bayoucook

                    Hey bayoucook, you should write a review on Amazon!

                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                      Agreed. Bayou Cook has convinced me to buy Lisa Dupar's book.

                      1. re: bayoucook

                        I read that negative Amazon review before I had a chance to look at any of the recipes. I was a little puzzled by the review, thinking, wow, is every recipe in this book really so very basic? It just didn't seem consistent with your comments, bayoucook. Later, when I saw all of the steps that went into the muffuletta recipe that you shared with me, I knew that negative reviewer on Amazon was just off his rocker. I think this is one of those situations where you just disregard the extreme outlier votes.

                        ~TDQ

                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                          bayoucook, can you perhaps share how FC&C is different from some of the other Southern books we've cooked from? B'AYA and Screen Doors and Sweet Tea (which I LOVED).

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            Yes, I will, later. At work on break, now.

                            1. re: bayoucook

                              Thank you! I think you've sold me anyway. :)

                              ~TDQ

                              1. re: bayoucook

                                TDQ - in intense training all week at job. Will do this ASAP.

                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                              I found all the reviews for fc&c useless. The negative review was too negative and it's unclear how much the reviewer cooked. However, that reviewer does post alot of reviews, on a bunch of different things, including books. Most are negative but there were a few (very few) positive reviews for books (non-cookbooks).

                              The positive reviews also don't mean much to me because it looks like friends or customers of the authors. One shot reviewers. I equate it to one shot posters and/or schills to CH.

                              Regardless, I hope this book is NOT chosen for COTM. It's inaccessible to most hounds since it's not in most libraries and it's fairly expensive to buy.

                              It's ironic, that for this 5 year anniversary of COTM, we've gone from older books, Hazan's Essentials and Steven's ABB where is was fairly easy for everyone to get the books, to books that are all less than a year old.

                              1. re: beetlebug

                                I think it's nice to have the variety. I wouldn't want to do all old cookbooks. The current COTM, World Veg, was published in 1999, Italian Grill is 5 years old, Seductions of Rice was published in 1998. It seems to me that we've had a mix of old and new books.

                                1. re: beetlebug

                                  If you read the replies to her review, she makes it clear that she doesn't pass judgement on a book she hasn't cooked from. I am kind of surprised by the momentum this book is getting, as it's not that widely available and quite expensive ($40 with international shipping for me).

                                  1. re: beetlebug

                                    I see your point. Maybe somewhere down the line would be better. It is costly and not widely available, but I think that will change. Like most Hounds, I have a zillion cookbooks, and truly, only a handful have excited or inspired me. I love this book for it's almost hidden southern roots mixed and mingled with other cuisines, creating some unique combinations for me. Maybe only me ( and those who voted for it to win the IACP award). I do hope to share it with whomever may join me, at what ever time.

                              2. re: roxlet

                                If you had clicked on that name you would see that they write negatively about every book they review.

                                1. re: LaLa

                                  That is just not true. I have looked at that person's reviews, and they give a wide range of ratings. In cookbooks, they have given five stars to Kylie Kwong's "Simple Chinese Cooking", Rozanne Gold's "Radically Simple", Lidia Bastianich's "Lidia's Family Table", Viana La Place's "Pasta Fresca", and Beth Hensperger's "Bread Bible". There are four star reviews for several other cookbooks, Francis Mallman's "Seven Fires" and Jean Anderson's "Falling off the Bone", for example. My impression is that this is a thoughtful reviewer who doesn't hand out five stars like candy, and gives an honest evaluation of how a book meets her particular needs.

                                  1. re: MelMM

                                    Re the reviews, I have to chime in. When I attached my google search, I meant for people to look at the various blogs that had reviewed the book, not Amazon customers. I take Amazon reviews with a grain of salt. Often then are helpful, but more often they are skewed. Now Bayoucook's review is another matter. She has proven herself to know what she is talking about so when she is impressed with a book, I want to know more about it. In terms of the review by the various blogs, you can see by the quality of the blog they have if they should be trusted or not (IMO).

                                    In terms of whether or not to pick FC&C based on the fact it is a new title, I agree with L.Nightshade's statements above. I think as long as we vary our choices between old and new books we meet everyone's needs. I am happy to buy a new book every now and then, as long as it is a title that appeals to me. If it doesn't appeal and it is not in my library system, I just choose to read along with the thread.

                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                      thank you, dk - I listen when you talk, as well

                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                        Re your

                                        "I think as long as we vary our choices between old and new books we meet everyone's needs."

                                        I see that my vote for The Food of Spain a new book, was published June 2011. In the last hour as I am reading your post, my husband is shopping for me at "Borders - going out of business" and found it for 30% off. (Amazon 43% off) I am exited about this book because several of the hounds here have nominated and voted for it.

                                        I may or may not have bought this book eventually, but I am happy to buy this new book as a result of their recommendations.

                                        Just another viewpoint.

                                        1. re: Rella

                                          Rella and others,

                                          Assuming Food of Spain is chosen, it is also available on TGC (if any of you have points saved up it would be quite the deal). I was hoping to use my points for Mozza preorder, but if FOS is chosen, I may have to rethink this decision.

                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                            Hoping to understand what TGC stands for - only thing I can conjure-up is "The Google Channel." My mind is stuck.

                                            1. re: Rella

                                              I think it's a club where you buy a certain number of cookbooks and get a discount.

                                              1. re: Rella

                                                Yes, it is a book club "The Good Cook." Like the Book of the Month Club.

                                                1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                  Rella,

                                                  It is a good resource for anyone who is planning on participating in COTM club regularly. I have found that since I started participating in COTM, many of the selections are books you can get on TGC when they are first released. Once you meet your initial commitment, they send you specials where you can get one book for $11.00, two for $22.00 and so on. As you can imagine it is quite a savings if you are able to get your COTM for only $11.00. Unfortunately, the sales do not often mesh with the selections, so you still find yourself paying full price (or .30% off) unless you stock up.

                                                  Once I figured this out, it made participating in COTM much more affordable.

                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                    Ah, yes. I recall that from years back.

                                                    I just received "The Food of Spain." It weighs 5 lb. 0.8 oz. Had I looked at it in the store, even after reading this group of enlightened posters, I would not have bought it. I no doubt was also swayed by my admiration of the author's "New Book of Middle Eastern Food." And by my desire to read what other chowhounders are cooking and cook along with a COTM. And wanting to learn more about Spanish cooking and its regions.

                                                    For the mundane recipes, I will list three: Bell Peppers stuffed with rice in tomato sauce; and Tomatoes stuffed with tuna (canned); and salad of rosted peppers and tomatoes. I find a number of recipes such as these available.

                                                    For the recipes I would never tackle, others might enjoy are: black rice with baby squid.

                                                    For even more mundane - I'm getting tired now: Spanish polenta. Basic ingredient: 2 cups instant polenta.

                                                    Regrets.

                                                    1. re: Rella

                                                      Rella,

                                                      Your post made me laugh out loud. Not to be an instigator but I believe you can switch your vote. Can somebody confirm this? I think I have seen this in past voting threads.

                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                        It really doesn't matter about changing my vote. I was just blowin' off a little steam. I'll find something I want to make - I'll stand by my vote. You're too nice.

                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                          I vented about this same thing SIZE and coffee table format along with on the nomination thread - but I had no excuse, the book was sitting there in Costco. Im sure there are some good recipes in there but its hardly comprehensive, as you would expect for its size and page count.

                                                          1. re: jen kalb

                                                            I wonder if I at one time actually saw it at Costco and dismissed it - it's hard to remember. However, Costco is not a source of books anymore; at most they have 2 stacks of cookbooks, perhaps sometimes 3, among all the other books that people seem to be buying.

                                                            As my m-i-l used to say about this restaurant that was there for years, cars double parked and reservations required, "They must be doing something right." I suppose Costco has their finger on the pulse of America's reading habits.

                                                            1. re: Rella

                                                              Its interesting though - while they do not have as many cookbooks as in the past, they almost always have something interesting, often of local interest - for example they were selling a Baked cookbook in the Brooklyn store and something else of local interest in the Jersey store I use.

                                                      2. re: Rella

                                                        Ohoh, you wouldn't have bought FOS? Because it's too big and heavy? Or because of the number of mundane recipes?

                                                        I long ago gave up buying cookbooks sight unseen, even based on the recommendations from other hounds, because I was spending a lot of money on books I didn't love due to some quirky personal requirement of mine that didn't manifest itself until I was holding a book in my hands. Now, the only time I buy a book without looking at it first that is when the book isn't available at my library or by Amazon.com or Google Books preview and buying it is the only way to get a look at it.

                                                        I just bought Fried Chicken and Champagne sight unseen because it's not available at my library. I figure I will return it if I don't like it.

                                                        ~TDQ

                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                          Kind of like my experience of eating in Spain. I cannot tell you, as someone who doesn't eat meat, how often I ate canned tuna (usually on pasta with canned tomato sauce) and canned asparagus (proudly told it was canned!). I think a lot of this has to do with going to bed too early for restaurant meals (wake up time of something like 5:30 most days), so i had to mostly eat in cafes, but still, there was very little choice and very little that was thoughtful and well made.

                                                          1. re: LulusMom

                                                            Sorry everyone! I promise to stop being so negative about the food in Spain. I have had wonderful meals there in the past.

                                                          2. re: Rella

                                                            Rella,

                                                            Sorry to read about your disappointment with the book, Food of Spain. My cookbook collection includes a large number of Spanish Cookbooks in both English and Spanish. I fell in love with Spanish food many years ago when I was in college. I also bought this book with great enthusiasm and have not been as inspired by this book, but have yet to cook from it. I will reserve complete judgement until then. Although, I did find it interesting that the black rice and baby squid recipe is followed by instructions on how to cook basmati/long grain rice. It makes me wonder if cooking with basmati is a newer trend in Spain.

                                                            At any rate, I hope this does not quash your interest in Spanish food. Many recipes may seem mundane, but are delicious. Simple ingredients like eggs, potatoes and onion create a tortilla espanola, or garlic, mushrooms, olive oil and parsley make champinones al ajillo. You may want to check out a copy of Penelope Casas's The Food and Wine of Spain at the library or book store. It helped me recreate many of the dishes I had in Spain. Cooking Spanish food is much easier now that Spanish food is more widely available than it was a decade or two ago.

                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                              Oh no. Now I'm regretting my Good Cook purchase of FOS. :( If an Espanaphile isn't inspired by this book, who is going to be?

                                                              LLM, it's possible to have great meals and lousy meals every where, we all know that, so not to worry, we aren't put off by your comments about your disappointing meals on your most recent trip. Too bad your most recent visit wasn't as chowish as your prior visits. Maybe you NEED to have a month of Spanish cooking, to banish the bad food memories and replace them with some good ones.

                                                              I fear FOS might not be the right choice for that, though. Man, I'm just kicking myself for ordering FOS in violation of my rule against buying books sight unseen. I just thought it's Roden, how can I go wrong? Hopefully once people get a few FOS recipes under their belts, they'll feel differently about this book? I do know that there is a magic in taking ordinary ingredients and turning them into something extraordinary. If anyone has that magic, it would be Roden. *fingers crossed*

                                                              ~TDQ

                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                you know you can send those Good Cooks books back right? In the old days when the Club had a dfferent name I always used to simply dump it back in the mailbox with Return to Sender written on the cardboard mailer.

                                                                1. re: jen kalb

                                                                  Hmmmm...Even if it's my introductory "four for a $1 each" deal? I think I have a box of five books coming... I'm already having buyer's remorse.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                    I think the USPS only accepts Return to Sender if the package is unopened, which means you can't have opened it and checked the book out.

                                                                    P.S. TDQ, I get that you're having buyer's remorse WRT FOS based on the discussion here, but I presume you'll check out the book before making a final decision.

                                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                      Oh, I see what you and jen mean about Return to Sender. I don't think think that will work for me because my copy of FOS is probably coming with my other 4 TGC books. I suppose I could reject the entire shipment and try to re-sign up again, but that would just be silly. I'll probably end up keeping this one. I only paid a dollar for it. If I decide I don't like it after cooking from it, then I'll sell it to the used bookstore or something.

                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                        well, if you put it in the box (assuming it meets the local size requirements for this, it goes away and it does not come back but for a dollar and as part of a big box I guess I would do the same thing TDQ is proposing.

                                                                        I used to check the books out (this was when they came unsolicited if you forgot to negative them and reclose, no problem.

                                                                  2. re: BigSal

                                                                    Thanks for your posting to me, BigSal. I do have Casa's The Food & Wine of Spain and her "Paella" book.

                                                                    It does seem that Food of Spain, Roden, has more simple recipes and uses more ingredients that we can obtain in America. This turned me off the Jose Andreas' book - feeling the necessity to find the appropriate or substitute cheeses, hams, etc.

                                                                    Just an aside. I was in Spain many years ago as a tourist, the usual Madrid, Barcelona and Toledo. I don't recall any meal that I didn't like, except suckling pig - My husband said it was excellent, but I'm not a lover of pork, but had to try it. I notice this book has a recipe for pigs feet - I suppose I could find some in a nearby farm, but won't be doing that :-))

                                                                    Re cooking rice; years ago I compiled a list of methods (or it came from one book, I can't recall precisely) for approximately 6 different countries. I was very interested at the time and always am criticaly amused when an author tells how to cook rice.

                                                                    Rice, cooked the Sarah Moulton way - she says something like this: I've never learned to cook rice. I boil a pot of water, thrown in the rice, and cook it until it's done, and pour out the water.

                                                                2. re: dkennedy

                                                                  I found TGC almost unless in the past in affording COTM's. Recently, we've had two pretty new books as COTM (AMFT & ENYTC), but aside from those, I have never found a current COTM on TGC.

                                                                  What I've found TGC useful for is acquiring the hottest, new mass-market cookbooks.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                        2. re: dkennedy

                                                          I don't put a lot of stock in blog reviews either, to be honest, unless it's by a blogger I really follow and trust, and there are precious few of those.

                                                          I'm not trying to persuade anyone towards FC&C, but am just sharing my thought process.

                                                          I was swayed towards buying FC&C for two reasons: 1) bayoucook's recommendation which was based on her having cooked at least a half dozen recipes from the book and 2) the fact that it was nominated for two IACP awards ("American" and "First Book"), the latter of which it won. I just think that's a pretty amazing accomplishment for a self-published book that doesn't have a big publishing house behind it to promote it.

                                                          From IACP's site: "The finalists have been selected by expert judges, using a two-tiered process that includes recipe testing and ranking according to a strict set of criteria. Winners in 17 separate categories will be announced at the Awards Gala. "

                                                          So, at least the judges are also cooking from the finalists books. Other winners for 2011 include ENYTC and AMFT and Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies, all of which have been books with which I've been very pleased.

                                                          I just feel like this book is worth a go and the only way to get my hands on it is to buy it. If I decide I don't like it once it arrives, I will return it. In general, I don't think it's a great idea to choose new books as COTMs: I'd prefer to let the books "age" a little so that we can see what people think of a book once the initial excitement has died down and people have had time to cook from it. This book is expensive, but once in awhile I allow myself the opportunity to get swept up in the excitement of a fresh and original new book. I hope I'm not disappointed!

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                            This discussion about FOS has made me weary, to say the least. Will those who own the book share some positive feedback? If you don't have anything truely positive to say, that is a very bad sign! The sheer size of the book puts me off. My biggest hesitiation is that I have looked through numerous Spanish cookbooks over the years in the hopes of finding one worthy of adding to my collection. So far, I haven't found one that inspires me. If Roden's book isn't that one, let's wait until we can pick another Spanish cookbook we all feel good about. Please speak up if you know why we should pick this particular Spanish book!!!

                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              I am a great "returner," but I have never had the thought that if I didn't like a book that I would return it.

                                                              Regarding book buying: My thought process goes something like this: You buy it, it's yours.

                                                              I won't return the book Food of Spain, since it is up for nomination and perhaps it will inspire me as time goes on, and/or another book to add to my "collection."

                                                              One thing I do like about the book is that it doesn't have the glossy photographs, which is a little disconcerting because it is reminiscent of print in sepia, which it isn't, but sort of fuzzy looking. I like this because I'm so allergic to print materials that opening most books send me into a coughing fit.
                                                              That's a plus. The paper that it is printed on must contribute to the weight of 5#. IMO if this book were published in another manner, it would have weighed lots less, but that is not a pro or con with me, even though I have weight-bearing issues.

                                                              1. re: Rella

                                                                Rella: "One thing I do like about the book is that it doesn't have the glossy photographs, which is a little disconcerting because it is reminiscent of print in sepia, which it isn't, but sort of fuzzy looking. I like this because I'm so allergic to print materials that opening most books send me into a coughing fit."

                                                                Same here. I ended up selling "Ad Hoc at Home" and the latest Dorie Greenspan book because they're so stinky. I get a headache from printing chemicals.

                                                                1. re: Rella

                                                                  Yes, if I buy a product sight unseen from Amazon, whether it's a set of sheets or a book, and it arrives and I the color of the sheets doesn't match my bedding or I flip through the pages of the cookbook and it's not interesting to me, I'm going to return it.

                                                                  Amazon is in the business of selling stuff sight unseen. They have to have a generous return policy. It would be different if I went to my local bookstore, flipped throught he pages, and got to decide if this is the book for me. Amazon has the "Look Inside" feature that takes place of some of browsing the book in a bookstore, but FC&C doesn't have that or even a robust description of the book available (ie., a sense of how many recipes, what kinds of recipes. etc.)

                                                                  Now what I won't do is sleep on the sheets or cook from the book, then try to return it. That's going too far. But, yes, if my copy of FC&C shows up and it's on crappy quality paper or the recipes all call for ingredients I don't have access to, I'm going to return it without batting a lash.

                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  I didnt see anything substantive in any of the FCC blog posts. They seemed like either people who knew her cuisine and restaurant already in Seattle and were enthusiastic she had published a book and getting on the bandwagon fluff.

                                                                  I didnt see any bloggers that had cooked from the book and didnt see any recipes other than the fried chicken recipe. Am I missing something?

                                                                  Bayoucooks recommendation is far more persuasive, but I am not persuaded to buy the book - has anyone found online recipes from the book? Its not hit my library system yet?

                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                    see the nominations thread for online links to her recipes - I just googled her and came up with them from her catering co., I think. Good stuff.

                                                                      1. re: bayoucook

                                                                        A few of the blogs have recipes attached. I think the fried chicken recipe was on at least two blogs. I'll post a link if I can find it again. I also contacted her catering company to see if I could get a copy of the index to post, they sent me something (more of a list) but they needed to check before they could give me permission to post it online. If I get permission I will post a link to that as well.

                                                                      2. re: jen kalb

                                                                        I wish there were a way to know which recipes are in the book. It's not indexed on EYB, unfortunately. There are many recipes on Dupar's site, but again, hard to know which ones are in the book. Bayoucook has posted about some of the recipes she's tried in the book, so that is somewhat illuminating, and she paraphrased the veggie muffuletta in the noms thread.

                                                                        http://www.duparandcompany.com/classe...

                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                              It's kind of hard to pick out the recipes from her blog because she has a lot of non-recipe stuff in there. Plus, she doesn't really indicate that any of the recipes are from the book.

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                            2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                              I hope everyone who has it has requested the index on EYB!

                                                                            3. re: jen kalb

                                                                              I think my copy of FC&C is arriving tomorrow. I might, might, might be able to cross-reference the listing of recipes on Dupars site against the recipes in the book if that would be helpful. At least you'd be able to know if those recipes are somewhat representative of what's in the book. I'm pretty overcommitted these days, so I can't promise for certain, but if that would be helpful to anyone, please let me know and I'll see if I can do something.

                                                                              ~TDQ

                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                            Ditto to all, well said dkennedy... I just put in an ILL (first time!) for Fried Chicken and Champagne... if I weren't on a budget, I would have bought it! :-)

                                                                            1. re: Katie Nell

                                                                              It's 25.08 at Jessica's biscuit....

                                                                              1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                And because it is over $25 there is free shipping.

                                                                                1. re: mirage

                                                                                  Oh, I meant to mention that it's on backorder at Jessica's Biscuit now. That's why I ended up buying it from Amazon. Since it's a self-published book, it's likely , similar to The Last Course, that the available quantities are limited and once they are out, they are out. Someone mentioned that a publisher might pick it up, since it won an IACP award, which would be fantastic. But, I decided not to wait for the book to come in at JB in case they run out of books. This book seemed like such a treasure that I really did not want to miss out and end up kicking myself later. You never know!

                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    TDQ - I am so nervous you won't like it, based on one man's treasure is another man's trash, or whatever. But I feel better knowing you'll be honest about it and will return it in that case. Let me know when it arrives!

                                                                                    1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                      You, different people have different tastes, so it's absolutely possible that I won't love it as much as you. That's happened before with other books here on Chowhound that some people love, some people don't. It's of course a matter of personal taste always. That doesn't mean it isn't a great book, though. I would rather hear of a wonderful book from a fellow hound and decide for myself that it isn't right for me, than have people be afraid to tell us about their treasures and miss out. I'm hoping my book will arrive today. I can't wait!

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                      I read this article today re Amazon's publishing
                                                                                      "Amazon moved aggressively Tuesday to fulfill its new ambition to publish books as well as sell them ..."

                                                                                      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/17/tec...

                                                                                      Here is a previous article re "All Eyes on Amazon Publishing

                                                                                      http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by...

                                                                                      After Borders’s final collapse in late July, things are slower in the publishing industry. Amid the summer calm, though, many are eyeing Amazon’s new publishing unit, Amazon Publishing, which was unveiled just before BEA and which has quietly, some might say secretively, been staffing up. While agents and booksellers are wary of the unit but not opposed to doing business with it, many industry insiders say it’s publishing houses that should really be concerned.

                                                                            2. re: MelMM

                                                                              Using the word "every" wasn't meant to be exact....the MAJORITY of their reviews are negative from all book types.

                                                                              1. re: LaLa

                                                                                Still not true. I actually counted them up, and across all book types, the majority of her reviews (17 out of 32) are 4 or 5 stars. Out of her cookbook reviews, a majority (13 out of 21) are 4 or 5 stars.

                                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                                  I love this kind of analysis! Thank you for posting this. I really do wonder why she was so down on this book, though. I mean, some of her other favorite books are some of my favorite books, too, but (completely paraphrasing from memory) her criticism of this book was that the recipes were too basic and that this book really had nothing new to offer.

                                                                                  I'm no expert on vegetarian muffuletta, but I have to say, this recipe from the book as paraphrased by bayoucook doesn't seem to be basic at all http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8008... And maybe there are a lot of veggie muffuletta recipes out there, but I don't have any in my cookbook collection that sound this good. (There is a veg muffuletta in Food Matters, but it's a quick version...).

                                                                                  ~TDQ

                                                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                    No idea why she was so down on it. I get the impression she likes recipes with a bit more flair to them. She says she has over 800 cookbooks, so she sounds like one of us. The ones she rated highly I tend to agree with. But she also gave low ratings to some well-regarded books, for example One Big Table.

                                                                                    For what it's worth, I just ordered a copy, so in a couple days, I'll be able to judge for myself. Curiosity got the best of me.

                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                      Heh, I'm the same as you, Mel, curiosity got the best of me as well. And, as I mentioned somewhere in this thread, since it's a self-published book, it's possible they will run out of books and not do another run. It would be great if a publisher picked it up, but I didn't want to count on that. Anyway, of course, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts as soon as you get your hands on FC&C.

                                                                                      RE: One Big Table--personally, I think the jury's out on that one. It is wonderfully readable, and I absolutely love reading through mine, but from people who have cooked from it, it sounds like the recipes aren't 100% perfect. I think dkennedy posted about some ice cream in a thread on the cookware board (a thread where she was asking for recommendations for an ice cream maker) she mentioned than an ice cream recipe that appeared in OBT was missing an entire paragraph. Other people have reported that the recipes have needed tweaking to get them just right. This latter thing doesn't bother me since these are the recipes of "real people", but I'm beginning to wonder if the recipes were edited as tightly as they should have been. I notice OBT is at a bargain price of $20 on Amazon right now.

                                                                                      ~TDQ

                                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                        also re One Big Table - I've had mine for awhile and haven't cooked from it much. Similar to OBT is one I've used a lot called It's All American Food. Have made several delicious things out of there. Thinking about getting Tasty, can't wait for Mozza to get here.

                                                                                        1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                          What's the big excitement about MOzza? Someone else (dkennedy?, perhaps) is excited about this book too. It's not on my radar at all.

                                                                                          ~TDQ

                                                                                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                            haha DQ - but neither was FCC! Dunno, Ijust like it.

                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              Batali and Silverton opened two restaurants, side by side in Los Angeles. The first, Pizzaria Mozza, the second Osteria Mozza. They share a common great room which can be reserved for special occasions such as holiday parties but other than that they function entirely separately and have two totally different menus. The food at both is outstanding.

                                                                                              Pizzaria is all about pizza. Amazing pizza! They do offer a few small appetizers such as marrow bones (amazing), salad, etc. Tables for the first two years were impossible to come by. It has slowed down a bit at this point. The best seat in the house is at the pizza bar where you get to see all the yummies being made. No bar area, so everyone crowds in and waits for their table.

                                                                                              Osteria has a more formal vibe and does not serve pizza. Formal bar, where you can eat or drink. They also have a second bar area, this one is a mozzarella bar where you get to watch them prepare their delish crostinis (too many, you can't imagine) and salads. This again, is the best place to sit in the house. At either bar, you can order off the full menu. Dishes are heartier here, and heavier, I usually overeat and go home with a bit of a tummy ache.

                                                                                              We date night at both of these frequently. Everything is lip smackingly yummy. I can't wait to see which of their recipes they share. Buy it!!!!!

                                                                                              1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                I'm beginning to think Batali is a restaurant genius.. an Italian King Midas. I have 3 of his cookbooks... I'll have to investigate Mozza, now. Lucky you to have the 2 Mozzas nearby.

                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                  I think this book is authored by Silverton, but it should be based on their menus and they co-oversee the restaurants.

                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                    I'll have to look into this, *long* time fan of Ms. Silverton. Still do some of her early Campanile/LaBrea recipes.

                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                      Do you have her sandwich book? It is among my favorites.

                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                        Well, I do *now*. I remember shying away from this book, as I'm not a real sandwich eater. But lately I've been making unusual sandwiches for casual dinner, so it seems like the time is right. Just read about the book again and found a cheap used copy.
                                                                                                        This thread is getting expensive!

                                                                                                      2. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                        Hoping you won't take the following as a critique on your post - I have a couple of Silverton's books. But I can remember having a kitchen full of sourdough starter based on her book and/or her guest appearance on Julia Child's show years ago.

                                                                                                        I've oft wondered if she's still doing that 'routine.' I look back at this event sort of like a Monty Python event in my life - perhaps because it was the decade of Monty Python's success, it was San Francisco, and probably just about the only PBS cooking show on when I lived there.

                                                                                                        1. re: Rella

                                                                                                          The one w/grapes? I made an attempt that went nowhere! Scared me off bread altogether for a while.

                                                                                                          1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                            Yes, "buckets of grape dough"!
                                                                                                            Yes, it scared me, too!
                                                                                                            Later I tried someone's sourdough with cumin or something like that that Julia had on - it could have been Ortiz? - it didn't require a garage full of containers though :-)) But that didn't work for me either.

                                                                                                            1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                              That grape recipe made the best sourdough I have ever made. Can't remember whatever happened to the starter, though!

                                                                                                              One Big Table reads wonderfully, but I too wonder how well the recipes were tested for the volume. Even reading it, I found glaring errors.

                                                                                                              Kinda reminded me of most of the community cookbooks I've tried to cook from over the years.

                                                                                                              1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                I have no doubt the bread would have been great if I--or better, someone more skilled--had followed through and actually made it. But I didn't get that far.

                                                                                                                I agree w/you on OBT. I love it--but more as a culinary portrait of America than a cookbook, a compendium of community cookbooks. I've only tried a couple of recipes but suspect many of them are impressionistic since so many home cooks do not/did not use recipes.

                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                  Her grapes recipe has always been a moment of instant recognition when talking with sour-dough bread makers. Seems many people know about it -- I'm so glad it worked for you.

                                                                                                                  My husband and I gave sourdough one last hurrah maybe a year or so ago -- you know how it goes - I'm going to make this before I die, then it descends to "I'm going to give this one more try before I die." It's just one of those things I have to put in the back of my mind -- you know, like "becoming a rocket scientist."

                                                                                                                  1. re: Rella

                                                                                                                    I've been making sourdough for a few years now - the secret for me was to beg a bit of starter from my local Italian pizzeria, which uses sourdough in its bases, and also makes wonderful bread in its wood-fired ovens. Have never looked back, although have had to nurse it back to health a few times after holidays.

                                                                                                                    1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                      You are one lucky girl to be able to do this. I always admire people who are able to work with sourdough. My years of yearning has never let it happen.

                                                                                                                      I could be inspired again by your testimony, but will have to let it rest.
                                                                                                                      :-))

                                                                                                      3. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                        What a neat concept for a restaurant! We totally need one of these in MSP. Which one is the Batali and which one is the Silverton? I am definitely going to have to have a look at this book.

                                                                                                        P.S. I am certain my husband will want to have a stern word with you regarding our overflowing bookcases. ;-)

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                          Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza, are both owned by all three: Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich.

                                                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                                                            Yes, I forgot about Bastianich. They carry their wine and it, too, is amazing!

                                                                                                          2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                            TDQ,

                                                                                                            This is so funny. I opened my copy of Bon Appetit today and on page 106 there is a spread on none other than The Dairy Queen, Nancy Silverton, showcasing some of her recipes from Osteria Mozza, especially recipes from the mozzerella bar, which they say, is the best seat in the house! I guess great minds think alike!

                                                                                                    2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                      Well I went ahead and ordered OBT as well, at the bargain price from Amazon. So the good news is I will have the COTM book, no matter which one wins.

                                                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                        Heh. Well, I started a thread for One Big Table awhile back. Maybe we need to start posting in it again even if it doesn't win this month. It doesn't seem to have any steam behind it, but you just never know. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/760967

                                                                                                        I was thinking dkennedy posted about a OBT recipe in this thread, but can't find it right now. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8011...

                                                                                                        ~TDQ

                                                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                                          Hi TDQ,

                                                                                                          Just checked with Jennifer Biscuit and yes, FC&C is back ordered but they are expecting their shipment next week so I am still going to keep my order in. Re OBT, I think I posted one time on your thread, and promptly forgot about it. I did make the Dirt Road Ice Cream (a Jeni's Splendid recipe) and they left out the entire paragraph about how to reincorporate the cornstarch into the base. A pretty important step! The other three things I have made have also needed tweaking. I just made the Miso Fish last night and again, I think it will be a keeper, but the instructions need some tweaking. Pity, cuz it covers such a wonderful cross section of recipes.

                                                                                      1. Great job, LM, 266 responses! Way to get this party rolling.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: bayoucook

                                                                                            Thank you bayoucook. If there is one thing I know how to do, it is get a party rolling!